The City of New Bedford will distribute more than 50,000 masks manufactured at Joseph Abboud Manufacturing Corporation in the City’s North End to New Bedford’s vulnerable populations and frontline workers to protect against the spread of COVID-19.
New Bedford has ordered a total of 53,000 cloth masks from the designer menswear manufacturer, and has already received and distributed 6,000 masks. Approximately 3,500 were distributed to elderly and other at-risk groups, and 2,500 were distributed among first responders and other essential city employees.
On Tuesday morning, Joseph Abboud’s CEO Joe Bahena greeted Mayor Jon Mitchell and other officials at the City’s Emergency Management Office, to present the latest delivery of masks to the City. As of Tuesday morning, New Bedford has 17,000 masks on hand, and 30,000 more are to arrive in May.
The City is directing the masks to specific groups of residents that are especially vulnerable to the coronavirus, with plans to reach all residents and staff of nursing homes, long-term care facilities, senior living facilities, shelters, and New Bedford Housing Authority facilities. Over the coming weeks, masks will also be made available to staff and patients of the Greater New Bedford Community Health Center, the staff and clients of the Meals on Wheels program, and elderly clients of the Immigrants’ Assistance Center.
The Health Department and Police Department will work to promote employee mask-use at essential businesses, with special focus on local grocery stores and restaurants to help ensure compliance with recent Orders issued by the Mayor and Board of Health.
“Joseph Abboud is a leader in menswear, and I am grateful to Joe Bahena and the company as corporate citizens for nimbly retooling their operation to provide these protective masks to New Bedford’s residents and frontline workers,” said Mayor Jon Mitchell.
“We are proud to support New Bedford’s efforts to fight the coronavirus,” said Joe Bahena, CEO of Joseph Abboud Manufacturing Corporation.
Mayor Mitchell declared a state of emergency in New Bedford on March 13 due to the COVID-19 outbreak and has acted to enforce social distancing measures and protect residents. The City has since announced a range of measures to safeguard public health, including stringent public health requirements for nursing homes and senior living facilities. Earlier this month, the Mayor and Board of Health ordered that all essential businesses operating under the state’s essential businesses restrictions, such as food vendors and restaurants, must require employees who receive payment or serve customers to wear a surgical mask, or a cloth face covering that covers the nose and face, while performing their duties.
- Pictured above, Mayor Jon Mitchell accepts latest delivery of Joseph Abboud masks from CEO Joe Bahena.